Linebacker Zac Diles, who had to fight to secure a spot on the team as a seventh-round draft pick last season, is now fighting to grab and hold the starting strong side linebacker position. Kubiak called free agent acquisition Kevin Bentley "a very smart player" who will push Diles throughout the offseason.
"I think he's swimming right now," Kubiak said of the second-year Diles. "He's a starter; he's out there trying to win a job and trying to be consistent. I think he's kind of all over the place right now, but that's not nothing negative. That's OK. He's just got to lock in the defense, because all the physical traits are there. He's just got to get comfortable with what we're doing, and it's going to be a good battle... It's kind of like one of those deals, we're not waiting. It's yours; go prove to us that you belong there. He's got a tough gig ahead of him here, but we've got a lot of confidence in him."
With the team expecting to keep only five or six linebackers by the time the season starts, Kubiak said that Diles, Bentley and ex-Brown Chaun Thompson "have to be interchangeable" and "they're going to all have to play a bunch of spots."
- Nick Scurfield